WASHINGTON -- The Senate could vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as soon as September, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told The Huffington Post on Thursday.
"It's on the list of possible things for consideration in September," said the aide. "No firm timing on it yet, but it's one of the things that's possible."
The bill, which would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, cleared the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in July. All Democrats on the committee voted for it, along with three Republicans: Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). The Republicans who voted against it were Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Pat Roberts (Kansas) and Tim Scott (S.C.).
The House Judiciary Committee has yet to hold a hearing on the bill. A request for comment from a committee spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
ENDA has been introduced in several congressional sessions and has gotten some hearings, but hasn't had a vote on the House or Senate floor since November 2007, when it passed the House, 235-184. The bill was introduced in this Congress by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in the House and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in the Senate.
Federal law currently bans employment discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability, but not on sexual orientation or gender identity. That means that in the 33 states that don't explicitly have such a ban, people can be fired, denied a promotion or harassed solely for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the Senate committee the legislation cleared in July. It cleared the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
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